You’ve seen them maybe, holding down the curb and "no parking" area in front of Latteland along 47th Street on the Plaza. By the dozens on weekends during warmer weather and in larger numbers during the summer.
Yet while much has been said of the influx of urban youth – and how uncomfortable they make Plaza patrons – little to nothing has been reported about the equally unlikely biker influx and their stark contrast with the usual mix of patricians and upscale Plaza shoppers.
"They are a bunch of rednecks on crotch rockets who think they look cool," observes one 30-something shopper. "But they just stand out like a crowd of irrelevants mismatched for this environment."
Make no mistake, the Plaza biker dudes are neither high falutin Harley-Davidson types like Bernstein Rein’s Bob Bernstein, nor chain swinging Hells Angels.
As for what motivates them to pick the Plaza, "I have no idea, that’s a really good question," says Walking Company staffer Nikki. "They just chill out there every weekend – I think they do it to pick up chicks."
Raising the question of whether she’s ever see any hot-looking bikers in the bunch?
"I haven’t," Nikki says. "Actually I think they’re dorks for hanging out there."
"Every once in a while there’s a decent-looking one," adds Walking Company staffer Jessica. "During the summer maybe – like one every two weeks, but not very often – I’ll be honest."
What about clogging up the parking and no parking zones out front?
"The cops never bother them," Jessica says. "They bother the musicians more."
"Well remember, a lot of cops drive motorcyles too, says former biker bar owner Craig Glazer. "So when they see bikers, as long as they’re not causing a problem…but they don’t relate to the musicians."
Plaza habitue Nicholas Abnos (of Abdiana Futon and Firestone building fame) has another take:
"The J.C. Nichols company spent a lot of money to put up the Plaza and put such a beautiful project together and here these guys come – it’s just not right – it doesn’t fit."
A check with police garnered a couple chuckles but no hard evidence the crotch crowd is causing any problems outside of maybe polluting the streetscape for Lattelanders.
"I used to work down on the Plaza and those crotch rocket people have been gathering there forever," says KCPD spokesman Steve Young. "And I can’t recall it ever being a problem, but if it is, we’d certainly handle it."